'DVD Jon' beats iPhone activation

Cracking the iPhone the latest pastime for hackers

A noted Norwegian hacker claimed Wednesday to have come up with a way to activate an Apple iPhone without committing to an AT&T wireless plan.

Jon Lech Johansen, better known as "DVD Jon" for his part in creating and releasing code in 1999 that broke DVD copy protection, has posted a Windows-only workaround he said lets iPhone owners use the device as a widescreen iPod and Internet communicator. The cracked iPhone can't be used as a phone, however.

"I've found a way to activate a brand new unactivated [sic] iPhone without giving any of your money or personal information to AT&T NSA," Johansen said on his "So sue me" blog. "The iPhone does not have phone capability, but the iPod and Wi-Fi work."

On the blog, Johansen posted a link to an 8KB application, several values and offsets that must be entered in the itunes.exe file using a hex editor, and a new host entry that must be added to Windows. Johansen's application apparently spoofs Apple's own activation server.

Several users who left comments on Johansen's blog claimed that the crack had worked for them. "The only problem I have is, the YouTube function is not working," said someone identified as "Guff."

Another user, dubbed "steve," said: "Confirmed the above method works."

Johansen isn't the first to put a hand at hacking the iPhone. At least three other methods of activating the device have been posted on the Internet -- the simplest involves obtaining an AT&T prepaid calling plan by purposefully failing the online credit check -- and one hacker maintained Wednesday that it's only a matter of days before someone figures out how to completely crack the iPhone so that it can be used with other wireless carriers. AT&T, which inked a multi-year deal with Apple, is the exclusive carrier in the U.S.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?